So, the long-awaited A Copy of My Mind.
Anyone who has seen the movie would find themselves reliving it silently; during the drive home, gazing at the endless rows of honking cars, your everyday view now seen from a whole new light. They would find themselves staring into empty space thinking about Alek and Sari, a sincere reminder that there will always be a fleeting moment of joy and love amidst the choking haze of Jakarta.
Lat and I was walking home from Plaza Semanggi, and we fell into silence. Even hours after the credits rolled, the movie still wasn’t over for me. Walking down the sidewalk, I felt like Sari, deep in confusion and loneliness, once again trying to make sense of the whirling city. Nothing has changed, but like Sari nearing the end of the movie, something stirred inside me, it was as if my life would never be the same again.
Of course this all seem exaggerated, and I know a week from now I will be dying to delete this whole post. But it just proves of how powerful Joko Anwar’s projection of the love story between this two people that gets tangled in the middle of the big guys’ race to power. It’s not fiction; it’s a mirror that chokes up a piece of truth and I guess that’s why it lingers in our mind for so long. Glodok, Metromini, Indomie, Pasar Benhil (GUE TINGGAL DI BENHIL BAHKAN YAA ROBB), cheap facial salons, and our particular fondness for piracy, the exposure to these elements keeps this movie grounded. And who can forget the chaotic enthusiasm of last year’s election? The movie was intended to be a time capsule of the life in Jakarta in that exact time, and it succeeded.
Hands up for Tara Basro and Chicco Jerikho’s flawlessly natural acting (also for still being fabulous while sweating profusely under no layer of makeup). Their chemistry is undeniable. I love how it’s not your ordinary Love at First Sight story. Alek and Sari’s encounter happened when Sari complained about Alex’s sloppy work of subtitling, and, okay, I have to admit it sounds like a fanfiction AU prompt, but it glides perfectly from there. Just enough room for your love affair fantasy while keeping it all real.
(I’m quite a skeptic for love at first sight, probably one of the reasons why I didn’t enjoy Carol as much as I should have)
The plot builds slowly–maybe too slowly for some audiences, but I personally think that this is how it should be. We all glide through our monotonous routine so quickly, and it fades just as fast and suddenly you’re floating with nowhere to go. Sari and Alek, two face of the same coin, represents this very feeling. Sari and her repetitive life of having things the way it should be but never quite getting what she wants. Alek being the nowhere man with no identity, no dreams, doing illegal jobs and gambling to survive the hard life. Tell me if I’m starting to get carried away, but I think the slow pace represents these holes in your life that appears when you forget what you’re actually fighting for. You’re transforming into one of those passerby, people who sits on the bus staring out of the window wearily, tired, alone. And then there’s Bude (picking up Lat’s theory on this), forgotten, but always existing in the background like the rest of Jakartans struggling in poverty.
There are too many layers to it all to cut through, so this film might need a second viewing to be understood fully. This film exposes a lot of issues–poverty, social discrepancy, the struggle of surviving in Jakarta, how politics divide people, and the blurry image of what everyone thinks true love should be–through small, cut-up details spilled all over the movie like small easter eggs on a superhero movie; exciting to find and to contemplate over.
The end took everyone’s breath away, and no one in the theater moved after the credits rolled, still trying to process everything. But if there’s anything I learned from the movie is that the truth does not come cheap. The truth comes with a price that Sari and Alek had to pay dearly, just like how twelve million people of Jakarta had to pay for a big change that was bound to happen. Indeed, A Copy of My Mind–a piece of raw honesty, is terribly expensive. We all saw Joko Anwar’s tweets and the behind the scenes on how the cast and the crew struggled to make this film happen with such small budget at hand. I can’t imagine any other way this movie would be made if not with great dedication and love, the need to tell a truthful picture of the city that never sleeps; a naked depiction of the dreams and struggle of the people of Jakarta.